Toulon is France’s large military harbor on the Mediterranean coast and as such it’s an exciting naval epicenter. It nestles between the sea and mountains on the widest and most sheltered bay in Europe. The port is protected from the prevailing winds and the ships are offered easy accessibility in all weather conditions. It is the capital of the Var department located in southern France.
Its harbor is busy with sailboats and there are a lot of ships moored at any moment. On land there are plenty of museums and ancient fortresses.
The stylish shopping spots and restaurants give it a typical French city feel.
Its proximity to the glittering Saint-Tropez and the Cote d’Azur makes this port city an excellent hub to explore all the hot spots of the coast.
Port of Toulon
It is an interesting town with a fascinating Old Town which has a lot of fountains, squares, terrace cafes, and trompe l’oeil wall murals; lovely old buildings; excellent shopping and a modern main-line railway station.
A Little Bit of History
This port city’s history spans 3000 years, and the Ligures were the first settlers in today’s location.
It was chosen by them because the hill protects the town from the strong wind that blows through southeast France and the water is very calm as it is protected by a peninsula.
The View of Toulon
Moreover the hill above the city enables a view of the far away sea and the approach of enemy boats – hence the name of the hill, Mount Faron, which comes from Greek “pharos” meaning “lighthouse”.
The city got its name from the ancient Ligurian goddess of fountains and springs, Telona.
Due to its location it became a military hub and when Romans invaded the Provence, they renamed it as Telo Martius in honor of the Roman God of war, Mars. They set up a military base here.
During the Middle Ages, Provence was under the coup of lords, and in 1482 it was integrated into the French Kingdom.
Lavender field in Provence, inland from Toulon
It was during the 18th century that the port city became an important military port for France, and boats and sails were built here.
During the French Revolution Toulon was on the monarchy’s side but Napoleon took back the town in a famous battle where he got injured.
The city was invaded during the WWII and the seamen scuttled all the boats, however it was freed by the Allied Forces on August 25th, in 1944.
The city is full of shops where you can shop for fine jewelry, French perfume and designer fashions.
Jazz in Toulon, Bastille Day and the fireworks on August 15th at the Saint Louis Fort are the famous celebrations here.
Some of the famous people from this place are Jean Blondel, Lili Roquelin, Anne Golon, Jean Joseph Marie Amiot, Capucine, Raimu, Gilbert Becaud, Mireille Darc, Kaba Diawara, and others.
Where is Toulon?
- 51.8 miles/ 83.4 km from Aix-en-Provence, France
- 72 miles/ 116 km from Salon-de-Provence, France
- 92.5 miles/ 149 km from Nice, France
- 362.8 miles/ 584 km from Salo, Italy
- 15.2 miles/ 24.6 km from Toulon-Hyeres Airport, France
- 54.6 miles/ 87.9 km from Marseille Airport, France
- 88.2 miles/ 142 km from Nice Airport, France
Things to See
- Provencal Market
- Old Town
- Cable Car
- Memorial du Debarquement en Provence
- Saint Francois de Paule Church
- Museum of the French Navy
- Saint Marie de la Seds Cathedral
- Musee de Toulon
- Boat Tour
- Museum of Asian Arts
- Mourillon Beaches
- La Mitre
- Mejean, Bandol and Six Fours les Plages are the other nearby beaches.
- Tour around Toulon
- Le Mourillon
Toulon, set against the mountain and stretching along the Mediterranean bay, is a combination of sunlit white cliffs, Mediterranean forests, rocky terraces, picturesque fishing harbors, golden sandy beaches and sparkling sea waters.
Well worth a visit and explore the nearby glitz and glamour of the French Coast too!
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!